IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Steering Committee and National Platforms React to Military Actions in Nagorno-Karabakh Region
11 April 2016
The Steering Committee (SC) underlined in its appeal that peace among neighbours is one of the aims of the European Union, which successfully settled age-old conflicts in Europe allowing once hostile countries to live and work together. Peace among neighbours is also one of the aims of the Eastern Partnership and its Civil Society Forum, to which both Armenian and Azerbaijani National Platforms (NPs) belong.
The SC appealed to the National Platforms to renew their support for civil society organisations, which have been working for peace in the region as they are needed now more than ever. The EaP CSF must look for ways of supporting peace efforts by the European Union and by Herbert Salber, its special representative in the Caucasus
Both the Armenian and Azerbaijani EaP CSF National Platforms have adopted statements on the situation in the region presenting different visions of the way the ceasefire agreement was violated and the further conflict developed.
In addition to other appeals, Armenian NP called on the OSCE to conduct a meticulous investigation of the military actions and on the authorities to take practical measures to tackle imminent threats to country’s security. The National Platform expressed its readiness to participate in the investigation of the human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law. The NP also suggested that the governments restore the necessary conditions for the civil society cooperation in order to overcome mutual distrust, xenophobia and propaganda of hostility, as well as encourage initiatives promoting informal direct dialogue.
Aside from other suggested points, Azerbaijani NP appealed to the international community, the UN, OSCE Minsk Group, EU and Council of Europe to intensify their efforts for the prevention of military operations and establishment of sustainable peace and stability in the region resolving the conflict in line with the international legal norms on territorial integrity.
The Steering Committee asked the National Platforms to engage in dialogue to end this conflict and appeal to their respective governments to facilitate such a process. The Civil Society Forum is ready to support both National Platforms in all the endeavours aimed at the peaceful resolution of the existing tensions.